Cancer Death Rates Continue To Fall
Good news, everyone: the rate at which people die from cancer is falling, the American Cancer Society reported. From its 1991 peak, the death rate has steadily fallen by 23% — or approximately 1.7 million cancer deaths evaded through 2012, CNN reported.
What’s behind the drop? Common sense and sophisticating treatment. “Part of the decline in cancer mortality rates is because of smoking cessation and some of our successes in battling tobacco,” ACS chief medical officer Dr. Otis Brawley said.
“Part of the decline is because of improvements in our ability to treat many of these cancers,” he added. “And part of the decline is from the success of what I’ll call ‘wise screening.'”
Brawley thinks that if more people get screened more regularly, the death rate could fall even more. “I would point out that 55% to 60% of Americans over the age of 50 are up to date on colorectal cancer screening,” he said. “We could save a lot of lives if we could just get to 80% by 2018.”
Cancer remains the second leading cause of death nationwide, CNN reported, but due to dramatic drops in heart disease mortality cancer is the leading cause of death in 21 states.